First Leaguers Win Tie By "Gift" Goal.
'KEEPER PROVES A HERO AFTER FATAL SLIP.
By "Clansman."Penicuik Athletic gave Aberdeen a bad fright in the first round Scottish Cup-tie at Pittodrie. Far from having the "walk-over " that had been anticipated, the Dons had to fight every inch of the way for victory by a solitary goal. The all-important goal which allowed the First Leaguers to qualify for the next round was of the luckiest order imaginable, the visitors' goalkeeper allowing the ball to bounce over his hands into the net. The home side certainly dominated play in the second half, but inaccurate shooting and faulty judgment, allied to brilliant defensive tactics by Penicuik, baulked their every effort. It was not an illustrious victory for the Dons, who will have to improve greatly if they are to make further progress in the ties. The six thousand odd spectators who assembled Pittodrie, instead of being treated to a riot of goal-scoring on the part of the home side as had been confidently anticipated, lived through an agony of suspense which lasted the whole ninety minutes of the game. The game had been in progress for only a few minutes when the crowd became convinced that the tie was to be a bigger joke than could possibly have been conceived. This was when a soft header from Moore bounced into the net over the outstretched hands of the Penicuik 'keeper. For the goalkeeper It was no joke, but stark tragedy. The crowd sympathised with the unfortunate custodian and gave him an encouraging cheer when next he handled the ball. Then it began dawn upon Aberdeen's supporters that there was not the slightest vestige of humour in the situation at all, for Penicuik Athletic were having as much of say of matters as were Aberdeen. As the game proceeded, indeed, a grim atmosphere was imparted into the game by the baffled Aberdeen players, who, strive as they might could not again penetrate the visitors' defence. And all the time the Penicuik attack kept making dangerous raids, any one of which might have been crowned with success.
The Spectre Gayfield.The spectre of Gayfield Park - that flrst round defeat by Arbroath last season seemed to be hovering over the Aberdeen men in the second half, for they were a company of desperate, resolute men who persistently laid siege to the Penicuik goal, only to be repeatedly baffled; sometimes by a daring save or clever clearance, sometimes by sheer bad luck. The Penicuik goal, so luckily penetrated in the opening minutes, now bore an apparently charmed existence, and short of lifting the ball and running over the goal-line and touching-down, after the fashion of the Rugby code, the efforts of the home forwards and half-backs appeared foredoomed to failure At the same time, in both periods there was a lot of rank bad shooting on the part of the home forwards, and the crowd became very restive, and towards the end was in an ironical mood. Penicuik had little more than half-a-dozen runs in the second half, but they were ever a potential danger to a team with so slender an advantage Aberdeen. In these raids Penicuik had everything to gain and nothing to lose and twice with the end in sight the visiting forwards carried the ball down to Smith's charge in purposeful fashion and came perilously near to equalising. The Dons' 'keeper, however - and he must have been well-nigh frozen ere this stage, so seldom had he been called upon ? declined to get flustered, and once he calmly clutched the ball from under the bar with a Penicuik "horde" around him. Then Wilson, the visitors' outside right, flashed in a wicked-looking shot, and the worthy Smith was relieved as it flew past his charge.
Nerve-Wracking Experience.And then the whistle. The Dons must have heaved a sigh of relief when they heard its shrill friendly note. For them it had been a nerve-wracking experience. They had played palpably below form, and there was not an outstanding man I their ranks. But it had been a good sporting game, contested with scrupulous fairness on either side, and it was pleasing to see the players on both sides exchange hand-shakes as they trooped to the pavilion. A delightful touch, in fact, was the commiserating pat on the back which "Steve" Smith gave to Robb, the Penicuik 'keeper. Robb, after that initial tragic blunder had played the part of a hero in the visitors' goal. How he came to commit his fatal error probably he himself cannot tell. It was one these inexplicable incidents often seen In a cup-tie, when nerves are keyed to snapping point. A ball came over from the right, Moore nodded goalwards, and Robb stretched out his hands to catch it as it bounced leisurely from the ground. From the stand it looked as if he drew back his hands for an instant - no doubt deceived by the way the ball bounced - and in a trice the leather continued its leisurely progress into the back of the net.
No Risk Too Great.Penicuik surprised everybody by their clever play. They were inclined to take more risks on the cast-iron surface than Aberdeen, and their accurate passing movements invariably came off. They covered up well, too, and their defence was of the first-time, fearless variety. Robb, in goal; Selkirk, right back, and J. Tulloch, right-half, were Trojans in defence, and forward Henderson, centre, and Wilson, outside right, were courageous triers. The Aberdeen backs did not have a good day, McGill particularly being unconvincing in his clearances. It was well that Falloon was so frequently in position to lend assistance to the defence generally. Godfrey gave the most evidence of constructive play in the mid line, and in the forward line both Love and McLean, on the extreme wings, missed chances. Moore strove to open out the play, but he had an unprofitable afternoon. Beattie was the only home forward with real thrust, but even his shooting was below standard. Mills showed many clever touches, but he tried too much on his own, and his passes frequently went agley. On the form displayed on Saturday Aberdeen's Cup prospects are far from bright, but their form was too bad to true.
Source: Press & Journal, 23rd January 1933